Kenya has joined the world to celebrate World Blood Donor Day.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross Society and other partners is conducting a nationwide blood donation drive as the main activity to mark the World Donor Day.
In Nairobi, the exercise is taking place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre while in Mombasa it is at Goan institute grounds.
Kenyans are urged to visit the blood collection centres to donate blood.
According to the Red Cross, every 10 minutes someone needs blood.
Those who need blood may be an accident victim, a mother giving birth, anaemic child or person or a patient undergoing surgery.
On Friday, during the daily COVID-19 briefing, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman said blood collection levels in the country had decreased, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as people avoid hospital visits.
He said this puts at-risk patients who need a blood transfusion noting that the blood collection in the country was way below the World Health Organization Requirement of 500,000 pints annually.
Dr. Aman further said the government has increased personnel to the national blood transfusion Centre to boost its operations in addition to setting aside 1 billion shillings through a World Bank programme to upgrade blood collection throughout the country.
According to WHO, the need for safe blood is universal as it is critical both for treatments and urgent interventions.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, WHO will run a global virtual campaign this year.
This year’s World Blood Donor Day theme is ”Safe blood saves lives” with the tagline ”Give blood and make the world a healthier place”.